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updated: 7/20/2011 3:07 PM

Lake County pools, shade key to staying cool

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  • Lydia Runyan, 8, keeps hydrated during the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Eco Adventurers Day Camp on Tuesday at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth. Below, Elizabeth Klann, 7, douses Rebecca Runyan, 6, in a game of "Drip, Drip, Drench."

      Lydia Runyan, 8, keeps hydrated during the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Eco Adventurers Day Camp on Tuesday at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth. Below, Elizabeth Klann, 7, douses Rebecca Runyan, 6, in a game of "Drip, Drip, Drench."
    Photos by Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyhera

  • Elizabeth Klann, 7, douses Rebecca Runyan, 6, in a game of "drip, drip, drench" during the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Young Naturalists Day Camp on Tuesday at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth. The game was a hot weather substitute for "duck, duck, goose."

       Elizabeth Klann, 7, douses Rebecca Runyan, 6, in a game of "drip, drip, drench" during the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Young Naturalists Day Camp on Tuesday at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth. The game was a hot weather substitute for "duck, duck, goose."
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
 

At summer camps across Lake County, water seems to be the key for beating the scorching heat and humidity this week.

Kids are drinking it, splashing it, spraying it and -- of course -- swimming in it at public and private camps throughout the region.

At the YMCA's Camp Duncan in Ingleside, a few small portable pools have been set up around the campgrounds so kids can cool off, Director Rona Roffey said Tuesday.

Outdoor activities have been shortened to give campers more time to rest, too, Roffey said, and many activities have been moved to shady areas.

"We're trying to stay out of the direct sun," Roffey said.

Camp Duncan's main swimming pool is indoors, and the campground has room for indoor gatherings and activities, but counselors are trying to keep kids outdoors.

"You hate to have the kids inside on such a nice day," Roffey said.

At the Central Lake County YMCA camp in Vernon Hills, kids are taking more water breaks and have been encouraged to carry personal water bottles, marketing coordinator Stephanie Pfenning said.

Additionally, some activities have been shortened or moved indoors.

Campers there also are taking advantage of the facility's indoor water slide and water playground, Pfenning said.

"They love it," she said.

Campers in the various Mundelein Park and Recreation District summer programs are spending more time indoors this week, district Director Margaret Resnick said.

No widespread changes have been implemented, Resnick said.

The park district also operates the Diamond Lake beach and the Barefoot Bay aquatic center, and action at both sites is up, Resnick said.

"I can see the (Barefoot Bay) slide tower from the back door of the community center, and when the kids are lined up halfway down the stairs, it's a very busy day down there," she said.

Campers in Wauconda Park District programs will get a beach day this week, Recreation Superintendent Tim Staton said. Tennis lessons and baseball league games set for Wednesday and Thursday have been canceled, he said.

The Vernon Hills Park District's camps and programs haven't changed much because of the weather, Recreation Supervisor Tom Ritter said.

"Obviously, we're extra conscientious because of the heat, but almost every camp is at a facility that's air-conditioned," he said.

Campers are able to seek shelter at the Hawthorn Elementary District 73 buildings, which are used as rain locations when needed.

Gurnee Park District spokeswoman Jennifer Gilbert said the heat has forced a move of a youth camp's Lip Sync and Dance Show to the Woodland Intermediate School on Wednesday. The event had been scheduled for the Viking Park band shell on Old Grand Avenue.

The park district has an extreme-temperature policy that calls for mandatory breaks at indoor, air-conditioned facilities, water breaks and rest breaks, and mandatory sunscreen use, Gilbert said.

Additionally, staffers have been watching campers and each other for any signs of heat-related problems, she said.

The Lake County Forest Preserve District runs several day camps during the summer but "Adventures in Nature" at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth is the only full-day offering this week.

There, activities were adjusted, so instead of playing "duck, duck, goose" kids play "drip, drip, drench."

The district's hotline, (847) 968-3235, features weather-related information and is updated every morning.

Elsewhere, the Libertyville Sports Complex and other large indoor facilities in the area have received inquiries from private day camps outside the region, said Randy Splitt, the complex's athletic supervisor.

Openings are slim, however.

"Unfortunately, this already is a very busy week," he said.

Y Daily Herald staff writers Danielle Gensburg, Bob Susnjara and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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